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US wants to retain its relations with both Afghanistan and Pakistan

“In my discussions with the Afghan government, we focused on the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan (and) the need for continued bilateral discussions between them,” John Sullivan said.

He also emphasized that the United States must continue to have its bilateral relationship with Pakistan, both on its own terms and with respect to the region, including Afghanistan.

The visit followed a series of attacks in Kabul last week which killed almost 150 people and left the country terrorized. Mr Sullivan was there [in Kabul] to assure the Afghan government of continued US support in the war against terrorism.

During his two-day stay in the Afghan capital, Mr Sullivan met President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani as well as other government leaders.

According to a State Department statement issued in all of his meetings, the deputy secretary focused his discussions on the peace process, elections and inclusivity, and advancing development efforts.

“He also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to working with the government and the people of Afghanistan to bring peace, security, and sustained economic growth to Afghanistan and the region,” it added.

When a reporter asked him if Pakistan came up during his discussion in Kabul, Mr Sullivan did not only confirm that it did but also talked about telling Afghan leaders that the US wanted to retain its relations with both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Mr Sullivan in his statement reflected US desire to continue partnership with Pakistan and its interests in Afghanistan.

“We have made clear to the Pakistani government our expectations for them to take action against terrorists that are in sanctuaries in Pakistan to reduce the pressure and the threat of violence in Afghanistan, and to contribute to a lasting and enduring peace in Afghanistan and the region,” he said.